Quick Takes | Higher education round-up: Feb. 24

A weekly roundup of higher education news around the Ivy League and peer schools

· February 24, 2012, 12:50 am   ·  Updated February 27, 2012, 11:16 pm

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Harvard and Princeton universities

Harvard, Princeton investigations end

Not even three weeks after Harvard and Princeton universities came under investigation for admissions bias against Asian-American applicants, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has withdrawn its investigation into the Ivy League schools.

Both investigations began as the result of a complaint filed by the same rejected applicant, who was unidentified by the OCR, except for the fact that his family is Indian. The applicant claimed he was unfairly discriminated against in the admissions process because he was Asian.

The inquiries closed when he withdrew his complaint this week.

University of Texas

University of Texas affirmative action headed to Supreme Court

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a suit brought against the University of Texas that could reverse the support for race-based affirmative action that it established in a 5-4 ruling in 2003.

The 2003 case, Grutter v. Bollinger, permitted colleges to use race as a factor in ensuring academic diversity, though not through something as explicit as a point system.

The new case was brought against the University of Texas by a white student who claims she was denied admissions because of her race.

Temple University

Temple University president steps down

Last Friday, Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart was named the new president of the University of Arizona, surprising much of the Temple community.

Hart announced her plans to step down in September. She will be finishing out the semester before moving to Arizona for the 2012-13 school year.

Hart’s move came in part to be closer to her ill mother in Utah. Hart was known for guiding the university through difficult budget cuts and the recession.

At Arizona, Hart will receive a compensation package of $620,500 a year. She will also continue to be paid on sabbatical by Temple.

Cornell University

Cornell undocumented student prompts debate

An undocumented student at Cornell University generated waves last week when he launched a campaign to help finance $10,000 in tuition from the fall semester.

Cornell senior Eric Hyun Jae Cheon generated support from students, alumni and activists after The Cornell Daily Sun reported that he was mere days from having to leave school for failing to pay.

The senior earned enough money to pay his outstanding debt on Tuesday. He is working 30-40 hours a week and taking five engineering classes. As an undocumented student, he is not eligible for financial aid or student loans.

Barnard College

Barnard College to get new provost

Barnard College — which is affiliated with Columbia University — announced this week that current Haverford College Provost Linda Bell will become the school’s new permanent provost. The move is effective Oct. 1.

Bell, who is an economics professor, has served as provost at Haverford — a small liberal-arts school located in the suburbs of Philadelphia — since 2007.

The announcement came just a few days after Columbia named John Coatsworth permanent provost. Coatsworth had previously been appointed interim provost by the school in July.

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